GoCamp is Looking for Volunteers to Teach English in Ukraine

October 21, 2016 • Articles, Upcoming events • Views: 5311

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Katie Richardson-Corazzi volunteering in Ukraine with GoCamp, 2016

Interview by Anna Morgan

Photos provided by interviewees

Ukraine is changing. 2014 Revolution has inspired many grassroots initiatives that are eager to support the country’s modernization. One of those is called GoCamp. It is a new format of school day camps with intensive study of English taught by volunteers from abroad. Piloted in 2016 it attracted 120 volunteers from 40 countries around the world. For the summer of 2017 GoCamp organizers have even more ambitious plans. They hope to attract 1000 volunteers, expand the variety programmes and geography of presence.

GoCamp2017 hopes to attract 1000 volunteers to work with 100 000 kids in Ukraine.

The call for 2017 is open till 31 Jan 2017. GoCamp is looking for volunteers who are native speakers or have upper intermediate or higher level of English. Previous teaching or volunteering experience is not required. Volunteers’ travel around Ukraine is covered, as well as orientation training in Kyiv, accommodation in the host family, other expenses. Check this promo video and apply via GoCamp website.

We have interviewed several UK volunteers who went to Ukraine in 2016 via GoCamp and they all seemed to have LOVED the experience. Read more details below and if you still have questions email us at ukrainianevents.london@gmail.com

Katie Richardson-Corazzi

With GoCamp I gained great experience and learned that you can inspire the children as much as they inspire you!

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Katie Richardson-Corazzi volunteering in Ukraine with GoCamp, 2016

How did you find out and why decided to join?

I have been fortunate enough over the last year or so to befriend a few people from Ukraine. Having seen the call for GoCamp on Facebook and having no plans for the summer, I decided to join. My friends from Ukraine have always been so friendly and so passionate about their country, which is why I wanted to see it for myself.

Another reason to visit Ukraine was to be able to tell people about it back home. Not many people visit Ukraine and many have only heard it mentioned on the news with regard to revolution and current conflict with Russia. I wanted to be able to tell people about it first hand and for them to be able to see my photos and, hopefully, encourage them to visit in the future.

I was also using the camp to see if I would enjoy working with children. As I found my time at the camp to be so positive and rewarding, I decided to look for a job with children at home and I’m now working as a Teaching Assistant and I think I will apply to be a Teacher before the end of this year.

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Katie Richardson-Corazzi volunteering in Ukraine with GoCamp, 2016

How did you find the experience of volunteering for GoCamp?

I really enjoyed meeting people from all over the world and was so happy to see such a wide range of nationalities involved.

When I first arrived at the camp I was nervous and I was not sure what was expected of me, but then I learnt to relax and go with the flow and I had a really great time. I did not expect to be involved in so many different activities! I thought I would just be helping with the English sessions but I was involved in sport, crafts, evening activities and even morning exercises one day.

I also thought I would be based at a school but we were at a camp in a small village close the lake, which we could walk to every day and go for a swim if we liked, which was great. I loved getting a feel for village life.

All of the staff and children were very welcoming and doing everything they could to make me feel at home. The ladies in the kitchen were even cooking me special Ukrainian treats to try. I learnt a lot about food and culture in Ukraine and the children were very keen to teach me some Ukrainian language. By the end of my stay I was really happy that some of the children who were not attending the English activities, were confident to have a go at speaking with me in English.

When I came home I felt I had learnt just as much from the children as they had from me, maybe even more in fact.

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Would you recommend this to other UK nationals?

Of course I would recommend this opportunity to others! You can learn so much about a great country and its culture. You can experience the fabulous hospitality of Ukrainian people and hopefully make a few friends you will keep in touch with and visit again in the future. You can gain great experience working with children and learn from them every day. You can inspire the children as much as they inspire you and feel they will also come away having had a great time and feeling more confident using their English. You can also teach them about your own culture and answer the many questions I’m sure they will have. Then you can return home and spread the work about Ukraine as I am doing now!

Alison Klippenstein

GoCamps gave me the confidence to start my own non-profit organisation called The Refugee Language Initiative

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UK volunteer Alison Klippenstein in Ukraine, GoCamp 2016

How did you find out and why decided to join?

I first saw their call for volunteers on the UN Volunteers Facebook page. Applying to GoCamps was really easy and I had a very informative Skype interview with a member of their team before they offered me the chance to join them in Ukraine for a month.

How did you find the experience of volunteering for GoCamp?

The training week was spent in Volodarka, where I met so many other volunteers from all around the world. I definitely made some lifelong friendships there as well as learnt a great deal about Ukraine’s recent history and the renewed sense of patriotism and pride the Ukrainian people have since their battle for independence and the Maidan revolution.

After training, I spent two weeks teaching in Zhytomyr staying with a host family and teaching at a local summer camp. My host family were so kind and so generous. They wanted to take me out all the time and show me their beautiful country and were always feeding me amazing Ukrainian food.

The school encouraged me to come up with ideas for how to entertain and educate the children and I was very grateful for that responsibility. It gave me a real chance to bond with the staff and students and we were able to make the most of the fabulous Ukrainian summer by playing games outside and singing lots of songs.

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Alison Klippenstein in Ukraine, GoCamp 2016

Would you recommend this to other UK nationals?

I would absolutely recommend GoCamps, particularly for first time volunteers. It gave me the confidence to start my own non-profit organisation called The Refugee Language Initiative. We now provide qualified English language teachers to refugee and IDP camps throughout Europe and are pleased to be working in collaboration with GoCamps for the recruitment of volunteers for their 2017 program. It is now my intention to take The Refugee Language Initiative to the Donbass region of Ukraine and pay the county back for the wonderful experience they gave me.

James Whittingham

I feel very lucky to have visited such a fascinating country and my interest in Ukraine only became stronger after my GoCamp experience

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How did you find out and why decided to join?

I actually found out about the programme from Ukrainian Events in London’s Facebook

page. I studied at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies at UCL last year and became very interested in Ukrainian history and culture. I wanted to travel to Ukraine over the summer either as a tourist or as some kind of volunteer so the GoGlobal programme was perfect for me.

How did you find the experience of volunteering for GoCamp?

I had an amazing time in Ukraine. I stayed there for four weeks and worked at schools in Lviv and the village of Remezivtsi in the Zolochiv region. The children there were incredibly welcoming and enthusiastic. Everyone was so kind and hospitable. They all seemed surprised – but happy! – that I am interested in Ukrainian history.

Lviv is truly one of the most beautiful cities that I have visited. I had plenty of time to explore the city but I still wasn’t able to see it all. The architecture around the city centre is quite stunning and there are plenty of historical sites to visit along with a variety of charming bars and restaurants serving traditional Ukrainian food. The views of the city from the top of the Town Hall and from Visokii Zamok are wonderful.

I feel very lucky to have visited such a fascinating country and my interest in Ukraine only became stronger after visiting. I fell in love with Ukraine during my studies and was not let down after visiting. Despite being in Ukraine for a month I wasn’t able to visit all the places that I wanted to, even just in Lviv and Kyiv, let alone the rest of Ukraine.

Would you recommend this to other UK nationals?

I would definitely recommend the programme to anyone interested in getting to know another culture and visiting one of Europe’s most fascinating countries. GoGlobal was very professional and well organised with a great team behind it. I hope to visit Ukraine again soon and work in a field related to Ukrainian or East European studies.

GoCamp website

GoCamp Facebook page

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